If you haven’t heard of Boma Green (New Kings Road, near Parsons Green) then you will certainly have heard of the flagship branch of Boma, known as Boma HQ on the Wandsworth Bridge Road. Haven’t heard of either? Then you surely fall into the category of either a recluse, teetotaler or social hand grenade; all of whom are barred from Boma establishments.
Whilst the latter has been open since 2010, Boma Green celebrated its first birthday last October and has quickly become the place to be in Fulham, especially on Live Lounge nights, which are held on the first and third Friday of every month.
The Boma Boys, four devastatingly handsome chaps (who, quite amazingly, won’t try and steal your girlfriend at the bar) seem to get every occasion spot on. Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or an all day drinking session you are after, then these establishments are a fine decision that your friends will thank you for.
We headed down to Boma Green for at Live Lounge night and felt compelled to write up what happened during the delicious yet debauched evening:
Our table was booked for 8:30pm, but we sensibly arrived at 7:00pm to make a head start on the cocktail menu. Boma offer an array of delicious, delicately balanced and mostly lethal cocktails. We started with a round of Vodka Martinis, made for us by Kieran, one of the ‘Boma Boys’ who has an impossibly diverse knowledge on all things booze. He asked what type of Martini we would like. We responded with a request to be surprised by something ‘off-menu’. I still don’t know what twist he lent to the cocktail, but it was like Jesus juice served colder than a Polar Bear’s toenails.
Post pre-dinner cocktails, we were escorted to our table and presented with the new Spring menu. Somehow it surpassed the Winter menu. I wont gush, check it out yourself:
To kick off proceedings, we shared the steamed prawn dumplings with water chestnuts and ginger and lemongrass soy alongside the seared king scallops with chorizo crumble, saffron velouté and parmesan crisp and the now infamous steak tartare, raw diced beef fillet with shallots, fine capers, egg yolk and toast. The scallops are new on the menu and were a very fresh, winning combination that really deserves critical acclaim. The dumplings and steak tartare are Boma staples that had been removed from the menu previously but were swiftly re-added after local uproar from the many regulars that frequent Boma’s establishments.
Given that summer is (pretty much) upon us, we washed down our starters with a couple of bottles of a delicious, chilled rosé. Alongside the tartare, we could have imagined that we were in Provence. For main courses we ordered the roasted lemon sole with Jerusalem artichoke purée, black pudding, trompette mushrooms and pancetta crisp and the rosemary crusted cod fillet with puy lentils, celery, chorizo, braised kale and red pepper coulis. Boma champion seasonal produce and both dishes were very well executed not to mention delicious and inspiring. Fish and black pudding, I must say, I didn’t think would work particularly well but how wrong I was. Viktor, Head Chef of the group should have demanded more trust from me; he is yet to get it wrong!
Whist finishing our main courses in the restaurant, we almost forgot (how could we) about the main event – Live Lounge. Kieran, the half-Irish (drinks like a fish), half-Goan (enviable tan) manager who plied us with cocktails on arrival had morphed into a half-Bob Dylan, half-Craig David sounding, guitar wielding party-starter and proceeded to belt out some fantastic live acoustic music. Imagine every song you know the words to…. from the classics such as Walking in Memphis through to your guilty pleasures – Craig David, Seven Days (your secret is safe with me!). This man mashes up these songs whilst aesthetically blessed guests drink/neck cocktails and sing the night away.
Whilst this was going on we ordered a couple of puddings in haste to give us the sugar rush required (by us at least) to join the party. We opted for the buttermilk pudding with rhubarb and pistachios and the apple and blueberry crumble with vanilla bean ice cream.
Both puddings were just what the doctor ordered, however, the doctors being Austin and Adam (the final two of the four Boma Boys) they were served alongside a Boma invention… drum roll please…. the Chocolate Cake Shot. I won’t write any more about this shot; you will just have to head down and try one. What I will say though is that is does not contain any chocolate or cake and will truly mess with your mind!
An espresso martini or two later and we had joined the crowd gathered for Live Lounge and libations. The evening was nothing short of epic and so different to the standard offerings of the other popular pubs, bars and restaurants in the borough and beyond.
To top off our night, we made a formidable error and asked for a shot of the green concoction in the glass skull on the top shelf. It was absinthe. It tasted like the fire of a thousand burning suns. Saturday was spent in bed.
On Sunday, I wanted to continue to curse the Boma boys for allowing us to have absinthe and popped into Boma HQ to give them hell. This didn’t go particularly well because on the way in I saw their roast beef being served which reaffirmed my previous assumption that these are people you want to remain friendly with. Needless to say, we stayed for lunch and had the grass-fed beef, a beautiful aged sirloin cut. Also on offer was free-range organic chicken – both served with all the imperative accouterments – goose fat roast potatoes, honey glazed turned carrots, cauliflower cheese, giant Yorkshire puddings and roast jus.
We managed to avoid the glass skull offering, had an incredible lunch, all was forgiven and my weekend was complete.
A note from the wise: if you head down for Live Lounge, I would suggest an early table for dinner so that you are ready when the live music starts.
I will leave you with a Hunter S. Thompson quote that now reminds me of nights at Boma Green:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
For more information, check out Bomas website: http://www.bomas.co.uk
See you down at Boma Green!
Olie Gilsenan on behalf of the London Whistler